Devotional for Wednesday July 29th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire”
Our Bible verse for today: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be the peacemaker”
The other day I was speaking with a member of our church who has lived in our town for a long time and who knows a lot of people who attend other churches. Recently she has been checking with some of them to see how their churches are doing during these difficult times we live in. She told me she was surprised and alarmed to hear of how many churches are struggling with a wide variety of issues arising as a result of the pandemic. Of course, attendance is way down in all the churches. But beyond that, many churches are experiencing internal strife resulting from disagreements about best practices for handling the situation. My friend said to me, “Not only is Satan using all of this to divide our country, he is using it to divide our churches.”
And she is right. I’m hearing that too. On the one hand, we live in difficult times. The situations we face are dangerous and confusing. Nobody has all the answers. We’re all figuring this out as best we can as we continue to push through it. There are some practices and guidelines that simply have to be implemented in all churches based upon the best advice from the most reliable sources. There are also Biblical principles which govern our conduct in situations like this and which must be adhered to. There are health and safety concerns that have to be considered. And then there are legal liability issues as well (legally we have to do “due diligence” in our efforts to handle this correctly and we have to be able to prove it).
But once those parts of it have been addressed and implemented, we need to give each other as much room and grace in dealing with the rest of this as we can. Church is the place where we can escape the storms of life for a while. It’s a place of sanctuary and respite for all of us. So, we do the things we have to do in order to take care of each other during these challenging times, and then we go over and above in our efforts to make our time together as much of an encouraging and uplifting experience as we can.
None of us will agree on everything. Therefore, there will be difficult conversations that will have to take place. We should all be grateful for mature Christians who are willing to step into the middle of difficult situations to be calm voices of reason. I encourage all of us to be the peacemakers. Satan is already dividing our land; don’t let him divide our churches too.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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